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Mickey Baker's Complete Course in Jazz Guitar: Book 1 (Ashley Publications) Paperback – September 1, 1996
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Top Customer Reviews
This book is pretty much the same as the blue version, which is revised and updated in it's layout. And there's a second book that's yellow and orange cover to follow this black and yellow book one (I know cause I've got them all).
By the way - being from the 50's these books don't have TAB. But as all the chords are charted and most of the music is written in simple keys like C D G F Bb, you should be OK. At this level of playing you should be able to do this sort of basic reading.
Actually, there is a tremendous amount of information to be found in this book, but only if you follow Mickey's directions. He doesn't give you a lot of why- just "do this until you have it down." But if you do that, you'll find yourself internalizing a lot of important rules and skills that other teachers spell out. Those hokey sounding chord progressions that Mickey wants you to memorize and transpose to other keys are actually teaching you all the standard jazz substitutions. Mickey does spell out some of these rules in the second half of the book, but if you've done your homework you'll find that it's much easier to apply these rules to soloing if you've actually internalized them than if he had just told you that you could use a Lydian or Aeolian sub for a dominant chord in a 12 bar blues.
The second half of this book is all about learning to solo, and a lot of non-readers have looked at it, and been put off by the lack of tab. But you don't need reading skills beyond that absolute minimum to use this book. Mickey has provided all the fingerings below the staff for each exercise.Read more ›
Lesson 1 starts with Baker diagramming 26 chord forms and telling the reading to get familiar with them. The book does not use tab for showing chords, but the chord diagrams Baker provides are straight-forward. I suspect beginning players should want to break the chord forms down, by note, to learn which dotted fret is the root, 3rd, 5th, 7th, etc., for any given chord. The lessons that follow ask the reader to play melodies using specific groups of the 26 chords. Also, for some lessons, Baker asks the reader to transpose progressions from previous lessons into new keys and then practice playing them. As the lessons progress, Baker methodically introduces the reader to more chord forms, to single-note lines, chord vamps, progressions, and more... and more... and more. As other reviewers have pointed out, there are 52 lessons in volume 1, and so there is lots to learn.
The Baker books are simply designed for the reader to work at a comfortable yet steady pace, not become overwhelmed by discussions of theory, and to lean to play some cool sounding jazz melodies on the guitar. Beginning guitarists will likely have more difficulty but that would be due to a lack of mechanics than with anything else. With sufficient finger and chord exercises, playing troubles will diminish.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Not to thrilled with this but I think that's because it's more advanced than I thought it was when I bought it. I think I can still learn from it though.Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
It's a nice book about the history of jazz music! perfect for all students of music !very informativePublished 3 months ago by Merrie Scott
for me this will take a while to work through but it's really worthwhile, just ask BBKing, this book helped the King of the Blues...Published 5 months ago by SD Cardsmith
The unique thing about this book is that Mickey Baker found a way to just have the student play jazz and even improv, and THEN explain what you're doing and why. Read morePublished 5 months ago by HighDeaf1080p